Chris Jericho’s had many different wrestling gimmicks over his long and storied career. Lionheart Chris Jericho, Y2J, Wears a Suit and Talks Real Quiet Chris Jericho. It’s the key to lasting a long time in professional wrestling, or any long-running form of storytelling: reinvention.
Unless you’re John Cena. In which case you can pretty much be the same babyface character for nine years.
Jericho’s current character, Stupid Idiot Chris, is arguably one of his best – but he’s becoming soft in his old age. The man who refuses to have official merchandise for his heel runs (because the aim is to get the crowd to boo you, not wear your t-shirts) has donated to both Perry Saturn and Rex King’s GoFundMe accounts in the last couple of months, and now WarmHeart Chris is playing teenage matchmaker.
A fan called Sunny asked Jericho on Twitter to ask her boyfriend Jacob to the prom. For her, that is. She didn’t want Chris Jericho to take her boyfriend to the prom. That would be a very different kind of story. Which Y2J happily obliged to, threatening to put Jacob on the list if he didn’t say ‘yes’ to Sunny. Face turn!
According to CageSideSeats, Jericho is rumoured to have signed a new WWE deal recently, but he’s still expected to leave his current run after Wrestlemania 33 to tour with his band Fozzy.
Before then, Jericho is one of the 18 confirmed entrants for this weekend’s Royal Rumble match. More main roster stars are expected to enter themselves this week, but a few surprise slots will be left open for nostalgia returns, NXT call-ups and – hopefully – WWE official Rudy Charles, the real unsung hero of Smackdown.
Samoa Joe is still expected to be one of these surprise entrants – as he has been since losing the NXT title in December – and former WWE star Nick ‘U-Gene’ Dinsmore posted a video on his personal Facebook page teasing:
“I’m usually not one to gossip, but Today at Midwest All Pro Wrestling training, we worked on over the top rope royal rumble eliminations. James Ellsworth look out!”
Thanks to WrestleTalk viewer Zach Werre for emailing that into me.
But most interestingly, though, is what Dave Meltzer is reporting about the top stars from WWE’s recent UK Championship tournament: WWE are flying some of the participants into San Antonio for Royal Rumble weekend.
This could be for media appearances, the usual ‘oh look, so-and-so is ringside for an NXT TakeOver event’ shot or a surprise debut in the Royal Rumble match as a way to introduce the UK Championship wrestlers to WWE’s wider audience. A smart idea if the ultimate goal is to build a UK promotion on the backs of these performers.
Hideo Itami, who’s been out with injury on and off since 2015, might also be making a Royal Rumble main roster debut, with Meltzer reporting he’s officially been cleared to return by WWE, which Itami followed up with: “I am ready.” Although this could just be an NXT return at the TakeOver event on Saturday night.
Would you go to the prom with me, Jacob? Wait…that’s the wrong question. How would you book Samoa Joe in the Royal Rumble match? Tell me as much like a monster as possible in the comments below.
You can still buy tickets for the aforementioned 5 Star Wrestling Show next Saturday on the 28th January, and you can watch it broadcast live at the same time with Rey Mysterio, Johnny Mundo, Drew Galloway and more in action on Spike TV in the UK, which can be found on channel 31 on Freeview, 160 on Sky and 154 on Virgin.